Flashback to 1948. A country vicarage garden party in full swing. A girl with polio (potentially) isolated in her bedroom being handed ice creams through a window.
It was like this. New Zealand was in the throes of yet another poliomyelitis epidemic, schools closed, high alert. According to one authority, “An attack of polio may be as inconsequential as measles or more agonising than death.” My own case, if it was polio (no test, you see) was inconsequential, but I had to be isolated from this gathering of the parish in our garden. I remember my bed being pushed to the window so that I could see all the hi-jinks and people passing me ice creams through the open sash window.
That’s pretty much the sum total of my memory of being a girl with polio at a garden party (possibly). I bounced back from whatever that illness was, and nobody else in the family was infected, to my knowledge. Another lucky escape in my very long life. I’ve got a poem about that…
You are so difficult to kill.
Just think of all the times
you could have died
in planes in cars in ocean rips
from operations, slips and trips
from salmon bones or salmonella
or lakes or poo or mozarella
zombies or goblins or narcotics
or overuse of antibiotics.
You could have easily expired
yet on and on you live.